Anti-dogmatic types have a dogma themselves


Quick summary: For this post I am reporting on the following study – Bartlett. j. psychological underpinnings of philosophy. metaphilosophy. vol. 20 1989 – As I consider myself somewhat of a philosopher, I am using this post for humor… the joke is essentially on me. The study examines the personality traits which are suggested to be more prevalent in philosophers… the piece is intended to have an ironic humor… the irony being that the philosopher’s conscious intention is often motivated by an unconscious intention that is motivated by the opposite intentions of the philosophers conscious intention… what?

This paper (Bartlett’s paper – reference above) takes a metaphilosophical position which asks where the drive towards any philosophical orientation stems from. The author begins by pointing out the externally or visually available congruencies between the students in the philosophy school or the philosophically inclined or motivated individuals. He suggests that the tendency to have facial hair or to wear sandals etc represent an inner state that might have a degree of continuity amongst philosophers.

Next our fine gentleman laid out a psychological profile of a typical philosopher. Essentially stating that there are many correlates between a philosopher and certain personality traits.

He suggests that philosopher tend to be:

Rigid – the cornerstone of their philosophical ideas are so firmly intertwined with their sense of self that they end up being dogmatically oriented towards some base truth. An example of such a truth would be the idea that there is no truth.

Contentiousness – philosophers have a strong need to prove themselves right or to win. they are driven by a competitiveness, much like athletes, to prove there position (identity) against another’s.

Narcissism – the author describes this as “self involvement to the point that an individual is unable to accept realities beyond his or her subjective world.” essentially we have such a strive for meaning and such a drive against authority and objectivity that we end up believing in only in our selves.

Intellectual lassitude – this is an avoidance of a unitary methodology such as to safe guard our idealism (subjective optimist) or in other cases to safe guard our traditions (religious philosopher). Without a consensus we are free to be governed by our narcissism.

Philosophical systems: the objectification of personality defenses – we objectify defenses so as to create an illusionary answer to the chicken or the egg argument. By using linear philosophy we have identified defense mechanism with philosophy while avoiding the idea that defenses might have created our philosophical positions. Your defense mechanisms therefore might be firmly correlated to your philosophical orientation.

In conclusion – In our drive to disprove objectivity we unconsciously align with rigidity to the objective position that objectivity does not exist – we are dogmatically against dogma. Second, our drive to lessen our attachment to our ego is motivated by our ego – it is the ego’s desire to be an identity which is unattached to the ego… so our conscious intention to lessen the ego is unconsciously driven by the ego’s desire to strengthen itself…

Have fun! ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

William Hambleton Bishop is a practicing therapist in Steamboat Springs Colorado.
William Hambleton Bishop
William Hambleton Bishop is a practicing therapist in Steamboat Springs Colorado.

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